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Volume 18 Number 3, Autumn 2021, Pages 745-1070   

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“As a Teacher, COVID-19 Means…”: Stories of How English Teachers in Asia Developed Resilience During the Pandemic

    Hyoshin Lee & Judy Yin

The focus of this study was to provide the accounts of primary and secondary English teachers in Asia regarding their struggles and efforts during the pandemic. In particular, this study provides an in-depth view of how the educational contexts changed as a result of the spread of COVID-19 and their reflections of their experiences through a metaphor. A total of eight English teachers (four primary and four secondary) from Bangladesh, China, Japan, Korea, and Indonesia provided their stories of how they built resilience during the pandemic. In terms of their educational contexts, the sudden change to online platform seemed to have caused confusion among teachers, students, and parents; however, the teachers accepted such changes as the new normal and took necessary measures to adapt to the transformed context. They also provided additional support for students to lessen the learning gap. As for the reflections of their experiences, the teachers were able to develop professionally by stepping out of their comfort zones and exploring new possibilities. In addition, their optimism and passion for teaching encouraged them to continuously search for ways to guide their students despite various obstacles. In many ways, the teachers never lost hope and moved forward toward the light at the end of a dark tunnel we call COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19, English teaching, reflective teaching, on-line teaching